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36

The effect of sample treatment on detection and urediniospore viability of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

Presenter: W. M. Jurick

All authors and affiliations: W. M. JURICK, II (1), C. L. Harmon (2), J. J. Marois (3), D. L. Wright (4), and P. L. Harmon (1). (1) Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; (2) Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; (3) Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL; and (4) Department of Agronomy, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL

Asian soybean rust (ASR) is caused by the filamentous fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi. This aggressive basidiomycete plant pathogen infects a wide range of cultivated and weedy legumes, including kudzu (Pueraria lobata), which is present throughout the southeastern United States. In Florida, ASR-infected kudzu serves as the overwinter host, which may provide an important source of inoculum for soybeans. Kudzu patches infected with ASR are routinely diagnosed based on visual symptoms (erumpent pustules on the underside of the leaf) using a dissecting microscope and are confirmed by PCR for newly infected areas or when symptoms are ambiguous. Rapid and accurate diagnosis of ASR-infected plant material is critical to minimize the economic impact of this devastating disease. Two widely used diagnostic tools for ASR diagnosis, conventional PCR and ELISA, detect both viable and nonviable pathogens in ASR-infected samples. The relationship between pathogen viability, detection capability, and various environmental regimes was investigated in this study. Results will help identify optimal conditions for sample storage to preserve the detection capability of each diagnostic test. Preliminary studies investigating spore viability have provided a foundation for future endeavors to investigate the impact of environmental conditions on pathogen survival in the field.

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